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Monday, March 9, 2009

The Thrill of Victory and the Agony of Defeat

Yesterday was the Ski Club Championships. It's a big day when all the kids race and then there is a prize-giving ceremony. My boys race all winter and love skiing but the fun comes to a crashing halt once the times are totalled and the medals are given out.

Yes, that is Number 3 Son with the trophy. He cleaned up in the Boys 5 & 6 group. His older brothers came 4th and 5th, very respectable but no hardware to take home. And to add insult to injury, their old man made it to the podium as well the day before. It's not easy being a boy who loves to compete but lives in a world that only recognizes numbers 1, 2 and 3. It doesn't matter how many times we tell our kids that it's not winning that counts, they know it is. You can only pin so many participation ribbons on your bulletin board before you want one of those medals to hang around your neck and it is even harder when your little brother complains that his neck hurts because they were so heavy. Not that I'm not proud of Number 3 but I just don't know how to encourage the other two, when it all comes down to one day and three spots on the podium. Team sports are a little better, Number One son plays goal for a hockey team that barely won a single game this season, but that didn't seem to bother him at all.

I don't want them to give up racing, it is a part of what we do as a family with a great group of friends but every year getting through this day is harder and harder. I guess it is one of life's lessons for us all.


  1. Even as an "adult" I don't handle disappointment very well. I can only hope that when the time comes I can teach them grace in "losing". Congrats to them all.

  2. My son swims on a swim team all summer long, and his best has been a 3rd place. He's only 7, so it hasn't really bothered him...he's happy with his ribbons so far. But my younger son, who will start on the team this year, is showing signs that he'll be a better athlete, so we might be dealing with the same problem a few years from now!


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